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Manic Street Preachers mural with lyrics is unveiled in Blackwood

15 May 2024 3 minute read
Manic Street Preachers mural (Pic credit: Gavin Drobac)

A completed mural of local heroes Manic Street Preachers has been unveiled in their hometown of Blackwood.

The band was formed in the town in 1986 and are rightly considered one of the greatest Welsh groups of all time.

So the fact that it’s taken just the little matter of 38 years for a mural to appear where it all started is perhaps a little surprising.

Still, better late than never and this mural of the band from circa 1991 painted by leading Welsh street artist Paul Shepherd known as ‘Walls by Paul’ is certainly a fitting tribute.

With missing Manic Richey Edwards front and centre it captures the punk glamour of the band around the time of the release of their Motown Junk and You Love Us singles released on Heavenly Records, when the four members – Richey, James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore – were firing both verbal and aural assaults on an unsuspecting music business.

The mural took shape last month but has now been completed with lyrics from Manics’ fan favourite You Love Us.

The mural, which was created for the Valleys Street Art Project, is situated on a wall donated by Laffan Dental Care, Bridge Street in Blackwood – next to the entrance to the car park.

The original Heavenly Records press image on which the mural is based

Artist Paul wrote on his Facebook page last month: “Cracking day for it today. Finally got this one done. For Valleys Street Art Project Been trying to do it for weeks. But the weather hasn’t let me. Nine hours this took. Without a break so now I’m gonna have a bit of a crash.

“Lovely chatting to the people of Blackwood and thank you to the lady that gave me cake!

“The Manic Street Preachers, circa 1991ish, ladies and gentlemen.”

The completed Manic Street Preachers mural (Pic credit: Gavin Drobac)

The Valleys Street Art Project is group on Facebook where home or business owners can ‘donate’ or register a wall to the group.

Artists associated with the group can then paint a mural on it. Essentially becoming what’s known as a legal wall in street art.

Paul added: “I had been looking for a good wall in Blackwood to paint a tribute to the MSP who were my favourite band through much of the ’90s and noughties.

“When this wall came up I immediately decided to use it. I chose this particular image of the band as it featured Richey Edwards front and centre. And it was of a time when the band were, in my opinion the most exciting.

“I gave my time for free and the paint was funded by donations made to the project.”

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Jude Pryce
Jude Pryce
6 days ago

Best Welsh band since the Alarm. ROCK

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
6 days ago

Awesome. Best Welsh band!!!

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